My name is Evin Ward, and I received the Run for Research scholarship my senior year in high school. This last year has been an upheaval for me to say the least. I graduated Branford High School and moved to Gainesville the next week. There I explored my post-high school options, specifically college. I am currently in my sophomore year at Sante Fe College with a major focus of engineering. Upon graduation, I intend to transfer to the University of Florida, home of the Gators! Once I am accepted into the College of Engineering, I intend to focus my studies on nuclear engineering with a minor in political science.

During my time in Gainesville I have embraced city life as an adult. Despite all the newfound distractions, I have maintained a 4.00 GPA through a concerted effort to put my education first. In conjunction with my scholarly efforts, my love and participation of academic teams, which I expressed deeply during my time at Branford High School, has continued; I am an award winning delegate of the Sante Fe College Model United Nations team and have been invited to Nationals in New York City in the Spring. I am also a member of the Sante Fe College Brain Bowl team.

In addition to my success, there has also been some failure. From after my graduation until the Fall semester in August, I struggled to find meaningful employment in Gainesville. Without stable income, I quickly ran through my savings. When the semester finally began I turned to the gift that was the Run for Research Scholarship, and with that lump sum of money in combination with the sum that I received from Florida’s Bright Future I was able to fully pay for my tuition and books for the fall AND spring semesters. I hold the entire Run for Research foundation in high regard because without the generous scholarship that they offer to local students I would not have been able to pay for my tuition in whole without having to reach for student loans, and that is something for which I am truly thankful.